Deregulation Gone Amok

 

American, Delta and United all charge big fees for families to sit together. And in some cases, they knowingly separate kids from their parents on board – even 2-year-olds!

Airlines can easily fix this, but they haven’t. Doing so would mean giving up millions of dollars in fees from parents who simply want to keep their kids safe.

Sign our petition demanding airlines put safety over profits! Children should sit with their parents on a plane.

 

Paying extra for a reserved seat on an airplane is bad enough. But Consumer Reports discovered that the three largest domestic airlines – American, Delta and United – are among those charging families big fees to sit together, and in some cases knowingly separated children as young as 1 and 2 years old from their families.

If you haven’t experienced this outrageous seating scheme yourself, you may have witnessed it on board: Desperate parents begging flyers to switch seats so they can sit with their child. Or perhaps you’ve even sat next to a little one whose parents are rows away.

Airlines can easily fix this because they know the age of everyone flying but they haven’t. Doing so would mean giving up millions of dollars in fees from parents who simply want to keep their kids safe.

Sign our petition demanding American, Delta and United put safety over profits! Children should sit with their parents on a plane.

 

Through a Freedom of Information Act request, we examined summaries of 136 family seating complaints against dozens of U.S. and international airlines. What we found was shocking:

  • In two cases, United knowingly separated families traveling with 1-year-olds – in one case, on a two-leg international itinerary.
  • In seven instances, 2-year-olds were seated separately, including on American, Delta, United, and Spirit Airlines.
  • A family on American with a 2-year-old and another child who suffers seizures found both kids seated separately.

The Department of Transportation, which oversees airlines, has done nothing to require the airlines to change their family seating and fee policies despite Congress passing a law three years ago saying it is a serious problem and directing DOT to address it.

Since the government won’t act, it’s up to us to stop this! Add your name to our petition to the Big Three airlines, and let’s use our power as airline customers to make sure children can sit with their families.

 

NB: I have first-hand experience!  I have traveled with a grandchild under 2 y of age.

The only thing that saved us last week was the Corona Virus epidemic, which meant a lot of free seats on a transatlantic flight and back. Baby was crying and kicking the seat in front of her, so there were complaints.  What would it have been like if she were separated from us?  Ugh.  We did pay for a seat for her ($500).  For a hefty additional fee we could have reserved assigned seats, but did not do that, because of the expected drop in numbers of travelers.

On a 5 h flight to Denver 6 months ago, she was on our lap, fussing and screaming all the way. Not fun for us or other travelers. There were complaints to the crew.

One irate grandma: “Fine. Let them put her next to someone else.  See how that works for their ticket sales!”

Please sign the petition!  And forward to your friends.

 

BTW: deregulation sponsored by Trump and Zeldin has gone amok!  This is apparently what you get.

 

 

 

 

 

About D. Posnett MD

Emeritus Prof. of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
This entry was posted in dergulation, Trump, Uncategorized, Zeldin and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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